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Hard Times (Legend Classics) - cover

Hard Times (Legend Classics)

Charles Dickens

Publisher: Legend Press

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Summary

“It is said that every life has its roses and thorns; there seemed, however, to have been a misadventure or mistake in Stephen’s case, whereby somebody else had become possessed of his roses, and he had become possessed of somebody else’s thorns in addition to his own.” 
Published originally in weekly instalments, Hard Times is focusing on Mr Gradgrind’s flawed model of upbringing and its lifelong impact on the wellbeing and destinies of his children. The novel, in fact, follows two opposing ways an individual can be formed. On the one hand, there is Tom and Louisa whose numerous misfortunes are predetermined by their father’s insistence on knowing bare facts without reaching for the substance. They are ill-equipped for the real world and, as a result, Louisa suffers emotionally having had a marriage of convenience, while Tom intentionally devises to incriminate another for his own misdeed. On the other hand, there is Mr Gradgrind’s student Sissy, whose guardian he becomes upon her father’s disappearance. Despite Mr Grandgrind’s scorn, she approaches things with a genuine sensibility that helps her to lead a happier and more fulfilled life. The readers are prompted to ponder throughout the novel whether Mr Gradgrind will eventually acknowledge his failure as a parent. 
Hard Times is an unusually short novel for Dickens and the only one not to feature London scenes. Instead, it is set in the North and beside addressing the issues of education, it also exposes the harsh daily living conditions of regular working-class people and the negative side of industrialisation. The author captures the zeitgeist of a new era where the old and new ways have to coexist and where many are continuously being left behind either by being deprived financially or spiritually. While maxims and cold facts are effective for scientific progress and the operations of complex machinery, they are not a prerequisite for human happiness. The volume’s solid subject matter is intertwined with the gripping elements of suspense that will undoubtedly appeal to a diverse audience. 
The Legend Classics series:Around the World in Eighty DaysThe Adventures of Huckleberry FinnThe Importance of Being EarnestAlice's Adventures in WonderlandThe MetamorphosisThe Railway ChildrenThe Hound of the BaskervillesFrankensteinWuthering HeightsThree Men in a BoatThe Time MachineLittle WomenAnne of Green GablesThe Jungle BookThe Yellow Wallpaper and Other StoriesDraculaA Study in ScarletLeaves of GrassThe Secret GardenThe War of the WorldsA Christmas CarolStrange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr HydeHeart of DarknessThe Scarlet LetterThis Side of ParadiseOliver TwistThe Picture of Dorian GrayTreasure IslandThe Turn of the ScrewThe Adventures of Tom SawyerEmmaThe TrialA Selection of Short Stories by Edgar Allan PoeGrimm Fairy TalesThe AwakeningMrs DallowayGulliver’s TravelsThe Castle of OtrantoSilas MarnerHard Times
Available since: 12/19/2023.

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